A 45-year-old woman driver died this morning after two cars collided head-on near Wantage.

The accident happened on a bend in the B4494 shortly before 6am, just south of the town.

Firefighters cut the drivers free from the vehicles in Chainhill Road, at the junction with the Ridgeway Trail.

Paramedics provided first aid, but the woman driver was later declared dead at the scene.

Thames Valley Police spokesman Vicky Brandon said the road was closed for several hours while accident investigators examined the scene. The road eventually reopened at 11.30am.

Police said the dead woman was driving a red Ford Escort towards Wantage when it was in collision with a grey VW Golf heading in the opposite direction.

The VW driver was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, with serious injuries.

The dead woman has not yet been named. No-one has been arrested in connection with the crash.

A spokesman for Oxford coroner's office said the victim was due to be formally identified today.

Pc Andy Shaw, of Abingdon roads policing, said the male driver of the VW had suffered fractured wrists and a fractured ankle in the accident.

He added: "He remains in hospital in a stable condition.

"I appeal to anyone who may have seen the Escort travelling towards Wantage before the incident happened, or witnessed the incident, to contact police."

Following the crash, Paula Pearce, a driver from Wantage, posted a message on the Oxford Mail website at oxfordmail.co.uk She said: "I use this road daily and know what this road is like.

"My thoughts are with the families of this tragedy."

Anyone who witnessed the crash, or has any information which could help police, is urged to call Pc Shaw on 08458 505505, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.